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Friday, May 10, 2013
Panasonic Sees Recovery Besides Loss

Panasonic on Friday reported a net loss of 754 billion yen ($7.5 billion) for the fiscal year through March due to restructuring costs and slumping sales. However, the electronics giant predicted a return to the black this year.

The company has been dealing with plunging prices, the strong yen, an ailing TV business and strong competition from Samsung.

The reported net loss was mainly due hefty restructuring expenses, including impairment losses as the company wrote down the value of assets related to its solar, lithium-ion and mobile phone businesses.

Sales declined 7 percent during the year to 7.3 trillion yen, the company said in its financial results, citing a "severe business situation" in the electronics industry, including sluggish demand for flat-panel TVs.

Panasonic will eliminate its unprofitable businesses within the next three years.

For this fiscal year, it projected a net profit of 50 billion yen ($500 million).

Panasonic does not intend to easily quit the TV business, although sales of its plasma TV had fallen by about half, while LCD TVs suffered a 3 percent decline. The company said it plans to restructure its TV, semiconductor, mobile phone, circuit board and optical product businesses so that they will become profitable by fiscal 2016.

Panasonic, which has been shifting its business from consumer electronics to focus more on operations that cater to other businesses such as batteries and solar panels, remains strong in household appliances, with sales of refrigerators and washing machines both growing during the year.

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